Phil Myers is a pretty unassuming guy.
Seemingly reserved and quiet in nature, you’d never guess he could be a stone-cold killer on the ice. Perhaps that’s the wrong imagery. He’s not going to flip off the opposition, deliver a kick to the gut, and crack the ice with a stunner. No, watching Myers skate is akin to watching the Undertaker grab a hold of the opponent’s arm, climb to the top turnbuckle, walk across the top rope, and deliver a blow to the shoulder with his full force. He’s methodical. He’s calculated. He’s deceptive. He’s the personification of President Theodore Roosevelt’s big stick diplomacy. Despite his immense 6’5″ frame, you wouldn’t confuse him for a clumsy brute. Despite his humble demeanor, he’s got the testicular fortitude to rip a shot from the blue line falling away towards the half-wall. More impressively, he put it on an absolute rope and opened the scoring against a nearly-perfect Carey Price:
Phil Myers with a SHOT 💥 pic.twitter.com/W5ncvQZ1Uo
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) November 8, 2019
This is not the kind of play you’d expect from a guy who started his season with a disappointing demotion to the AHL, a somewhat surprising move given his coach’s offseason comments and an impressive 21-game stretch in the NHL a season ago.
Think about it; we’ve seen players get rattled, disappointed, and sulk when the Flyers coaching staff opts to send an impressive youngster to Lehigh Valley rather than a remodeled Wells Fargo Center to be terrorized by Gritty. Myers did practically the opposite. He took the challenge presented to him by head coach Alain Vigneault, dominated the competition, and earned himself a call-up. I asked him whether having an impressive game like he did on Thursday night – including his first period goal – left him feeling vindicated, that he belongs at this level:
Yeah. I take a lot of pride in working hard, trying to be the hardest-working guy out there. When they sent me down, they told me to go down there with the right mindset and be ready when I get called up. I tried to stay as positive as I could and just keep things simple. If you try to complicate things down there, it’s just gonna go so wrong. It’s a team sport.
How has he continued to find the same success at the NHL level?
Keep it simple and let the game come to me. I think I’ve done a pretty good job of that. Over the past few weeks just letting the game come to me and not force things. I’m not satisfied with my play, but obviously I can still get better. I’m happy that I’m working hard and things are going in the right direction. I’m just gonna try and keep building on that and keep the right attitude, stay humble, and just build on it.
Staying humble has become a recurring theme among the young players who have made an early impact on this team. Joel Farabee, who joined Anthony and I on Monday’s Snow The Goalie, exudes an inner-confidence tempered by the knowledge that, if presented in too boastful of a manner, can be misconstrued as arrogance. Carter Hart’s presented himself in virtually the same way. It’s refreshing to see modesty at the professional level when so many of their peers in other sports find themselves on the other side of the spectrum.
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